If your smile is poorly aligned, fix it with a bite correction therapy. If you can see that your teeth don’t match up or fit together snugly, it’s likely your bite isn’t properly aligned. When that happens, it can distort the lower third of your facial shape. Also, sometimes it’s necessary to correct the way your teeth fit together before the dentist can consider other cosmetic procedures such as crowns or veneers. Cases can vary from TMJ issues to tooth grinding and wear. “In typical cases, what we do first is an orthotic. It’s almost like a retainer that a patient will wear for anywhere from three months to six months to make sure that they’re comfortable in a new position,” says Las Vegas cosmetic dentist Joseph Willardsen, DDS.
Time Required: Varies greatly from a few weeks to a year depending on bite and/or TMJ type issues. “One of the biggest mistakes some dentists make is that they jump right in and start putting porcelain work on the teeth without doing their homework first,” Dr. Willardsen says.
Why it’s good: If you have bite issues, you will continue to wear down your teeth or suffer from TMJ disorder symptoms such as headaches and facial muscle spasms without some type of orthodontics, TMJ therapy (i.e. mouth guards, splints, reshaping biting surfaces, etc-), or, in severe cases, orthognathic surgery to reposition the jaw. Correcting a bad bite can be life changing in terms of comfort and facial harmony.
What else you need to know: This is generally used in conjunction with other treatments. Bite correction may relieve pain, eliminate tooth grinding and reposition teeth for an ideal fit and better facial shape, but you may want further cosmetic enhancements to achieve your ideal smile.